The Mumbai police will, for the second time, test ‘Netra’, the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for surveillance on Saturday during the Ganesh immersion.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Nisar Tamboli, spokesperson for Mumbai police, confirmed that demonstration of the UAV has been arranged. “One ‘netra’ UAV will be used on an experimental basis for surveillance. It will keep watch on processions and will be placed at Girgaum Chowpatty once the Ganpatis reach there.”
The UAV was supposed to be brought into the force after the 26/11 terror attacks, but some senior officials had opposed it, following which it was not used. However, the results of the first demonstration of the instrument on August 21, (when MNS chief Raj Thackeray held a rally at Azad Maidan) were satisfactory.
Apart from Netra, there will be heavy security bandobast to tackle law and order as well. The police have also asked citizens to report any suspicious activity to the police on the ‘100’ number.
The city has 99 points for immersion and the main points such as Girgaum Chowpatty, Dadar, Mahim, Juhu and Powai have been covered by the CCTVs. The police said they have had a total of 80 CCTVs installed along procession routes between Bandra and Juhu for Saturday’s immersion procedures.
Pratap Dighavkar, deputy commissioner of police (zone 9), said that of these cameras, 56 have been fixed at various junctions between Bandra and Juhu. “The remaining 24 have been fixed at Juhu Chowpatty, the area around the Juhu police station and Bandra. These cameras possess night vision, are high resolution and have better clarity. These have been fixed to assist us with surveillance,” said Dighavkar.
Police expect that more than one lakh household idols and around 5,800 mandal idols will be immersed on Saturday. For coastal security, the Indian Navy and Coast Guard, along with the coastal police stations of the Mumbai police have been told to be alert during the immersion procession.